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Shared Mobility in Africa’s Rapidly Growing Cities

Shared Mobility in Africa’s Rapidly Growing Cities

On March 25, 2020, Meeting of the Minds hosted a free, live webinar featuring Herrie Schalekamp of the Centre for Transport Studies, University of Cape Town.


Legions of motorcycles, sedans, vans and buses provide public mobility across urban Africa. These for-hire and collective operations fill a spectrum between growing private car fleets and scheduled mass transport, and often substitute for the latter. Digital mobile technologies have made major inroads into how for-hire services are hailed and paid for on the continent. In relation to collective services, many cities have ambitions to install bus rapid transit to displace small and minibus-based transport businesses. Against this background, in 2019, the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations commissioned a strategic position paper to review current conditions and emergent trends in practice and research on shared transport in African cities. This webinar serves as an early release of these findings.

The paper unpacks prevalent business models and service types in the shared transport sector, and documents four cases that illustrate this sector’s diversity. The paper also discusses gaps in related research and research capacity. Much greater insight is needed into the complexity of sectoral transformation projects such as those led by bus rapid transit installation. The role of politics and corruption, as well as market forces for change and their impact on social equality, also require more attention. Research capacity similarly needs bolstering. The paper calls for greater attention to the situation of emerging scholars, context-appropriate research dissemination strategies, and strengthening the voice and independence of research environments in Africa. Shared transport has long been essential to urban life in Africa; local minds are needed to envisage this sector’s part in a rapidly urbanising African future.

This webinar will benefit an audience spanning the global North and the global South as cities worldwide grapple with the challenge of implementing better shared mobility.


Presentation Slides

Download the slides Herrie used in this event’s presentation.


Herrie Schalekamp

Herrie Schalekamp

ACET Research Officer, Centre for Transport Studies, University of Cape Town

Dr. Herrie Schalekamp is a research-led practitioner and member of the academic staff at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Transport Studies. His work centres on public and shared transport reform in African cities, with a core focus on how the minibus operations that provide mass transport in these cities can respond more effectively to urban mobility needs. His related pursuits include the governance, politics and scholarship of urban mobility in Africa, and the potential of new technologies to shift urban mobility on this continent away from fossil fuel dependence.


March 25, 2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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Meeting of the Minds
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